ILLUSTRATION BY STUART FUNK
Dec. 21 is not only the winter solstice for the Northern Hemisphere. It also gives us a unique view of Jupiter and Saturn. Right after sunset, look for two very close lights in the southwestern sky. This is our only chance to see the best view of the conjunction of these two giants. Their differing orbits ensure that they appear near each other in our sky once every 20 years. If you have a telescope, train it here for this rare opportunity to see the largest planets of the solar system in one view.
Each month, Rancho Mirage Library and Observatory astronomer Eric McLaughlin spotlights a notable celestial event. For information about the observatory, visit ranchomiragelibrary.org.
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